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Windows 10 was launched on July 29 and many users have upgraded for free if they had a genuine copy of either Windows 7, 8 or 8.1. This license wasn’t tied to users’ Microsoft account, but to the hardware they upgraded on, and they were able to verify this using third-party product key fetching software. If you’re one of the users who want to clean install Windows 10 on different hardware, in this article we’ll teach you how to get your copy activated.

In order to clean install Windows 10 on your computer, you’ll download an ISO file, create a bootable USB drive or burn it to DVD and run the setup for clean install. When Windows will ask you for product key, don’t enter it, just skip this step and complete the installation. After the installation process is complete and you turn on your computer, the moment you’ll connect it to the internet, Microsoft will know that you clean installed Window on the same hardware (the computer where you’ve had Windows 10 installed via free upgrade). The activation status can be checked from Settings > Update & security > Activation or from Control Panel > System and Security > System. But if you want to change the hardware, you’ll need to contact Microsoft support and inform them about the change. Only this way you’ll get your copy activated.

We remind you that when upgrading to Windows 10 for free, you won’t get a unique product key, and the license will be tied to your hardware, so as long as you clean install Windows 10 on the same hardware, the license will be automatically activated.

But, if you buy a retail license of the new operating system or get the product key from third-party product key fetching software such as MSDN, DreamSpark or TechNet, you will manually enter the key during clean installations.

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